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search warrant

n. a written order by a judge which permits a law enforcement officer to search a specific place (eg. 112 Magnolia Avenue, Apartment 3, or a 1991 Pontiac, Texas license number 123ABC) and identifies the persons (if known) and any articles intended to be seized (often specified by type, such as "weapons," "drugs and drug paraphernalia," "evidence of bodily harm"). Such a search warrant can only be issued upon a sworn written statement of a law enforcement officer (including a prosecutor). The 4th Amendment to the Constitution specifies: "…no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized." The 14th Amendment applies the rule to the states. Evidence unconstitutionally seized cannot be used in court, nor can evidence traced through such illegal evidence.

See also: fruit of the poisonous tree  probable cause  search  search and seizure 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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